Last week marked a momentous occasion for our little sari blanket business! I created & posted an internship position for our business. All spring and summer, I’ve felt this same feeling pressed upon me: You need help. Expand the tribe. Get others involved. Supplement your weaknesses. Don’t try to do it all on your own.
Finally, I was ready for more people around here, I was ready to let go of some things, I was ready to take charge as a leader that can fearlessly captain this ship!
So, I posted it on my personal facebook page, as a start. Then I received a text message from my friend who owns a flower shop:
Huh. Yes. *Excellent* questions. I’m thinking perhaps I should have asked these questionsbefore posting it. Who’s in charge around here, anyways? Doesn’t anyone know what they’re doing?! [because other similar businesses in the USA run robust unpaid internship programs, I had not considered local, Canadian rules]
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Yellow Conference, which was a group of 300 women “creatives” (bloggers, photographers, graphic designers, interior designers, etc.) working with a greater purpose. It sounds kind of pretentious, but maybe that’s what I am because it was a whole room of other women just like me!
Anyhow, one of the workshop leaders, Becky Simpson, said something that really resounded with me. She said that at points well along in her self-employment, she still felt like an impostor. “I was too far in to admit: I didn’t know what I was doing!” At least, she felt like she was too far in. Shame & embarrassment ruled; “how can I ask for help now?” she worried.
Hearing that was a huge relief to me. Other people also don't know what they're doing? Fortunately, shame & embarrassment don't get too much in my way. Pride, though... I can be too proud to ask for help or to admit need or failure. But, Becky's admission emboldened me; I was ready! The great irony is that when I finally embraced it and stepped out to ask for help, it completely revealed how much I don’t know!
When I started out, I knew very little about saris, blankets, kantha, importing, business... I’ve learned heaps since starting dignify and have a lot of wisdom to share, but I have NOT got it all figured out, friends. I often still feel like “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Whether an entrepreneur, a shopper, a mom, a manager… don’t we all feel like this? Or is it just me?
(Photo courtesy of Friends of Basha)
Reflections from my experience visiting a Brothel in Bangladesh
As impossible as it is for me to believe now, earlier in 2020 I flew around the world. The primary objective was to visit Bangladesh and see, in person, the life-changing work in which dignify has had the privilege to participate over these past 8 years.
A friend recently asked on Facebook for “the most challenging and enlightening resource you have read/watched about the problem of racism in America”. This question received numerous responses within the day: half a dozen films, dozens of books, podcasts, courses, and other hubs of information resources (as well as the astute reply, “Conversation”, which is, of course, the most relational and human of “resources”).
I think that this experience was shared by most people in early June (as protests & concerns over racial injustice had reached a critical volume): so many resources, so much to learn.
But now, 2 months later… what have we done with the magnitude of worthy, fascinating, perspective-altering information & insights that have been brought to our attention?
And this it only in the area racial injustice. In other interests & concerns: How much do we know? How much have we learned & read & listened to already?
Approximately 25 years ago (in March 2020), we did a customer/reader survey. I asked what you like to read on the blog & one of the respondents suggested a post on "living generously". What a fabulous idea and perfect for this time in history!
[The title of this post implies some kind of authority or expertise — ha! Nope, no experts here... just some thoughts on generosity from a fellow human, trying to make my way!]